News

Media Information

 

We provide a range of services to journalists who would like to find out more about Lake Windermere and Windermere Lake Cruises to support topical news stories and features, including:

 

  • General facts and figures
  • Images
  • Case studies
  • Interview requests
  • Press trips (for commissioned pieces only).

 

For all press office enquiries, contact Heather Sewell: hsewell@cumbriatourism.org /

01539 825002 / 07795 487003


 


See a different side to England’s longest lake:

New jetty to open up western shore

 

 

A major project to create a new floating jetty and improve access to Windermere’s western shore - without increasing traffic – is underway.

 

The exciting new development will see a new jetty at Bark Barn near Belle Grange from Easter 2014, proving direct access to this part of the shoreline for family walking and cycling for the first time. It will also link up with the Windermere West Shore Cycle Trail and routes to and from Wray Castle. The overall aim is to encourage more people to explore one of the Lakes’ busiest tourist spots by water rather than by road and is all part of a partnership between the GoLakes Travel programme, the National Trust and South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).

 

The jetty will be a handy stop-off point for private vessels, ranging from small dinghies to larger boats, and Windermere Lake Cruises has offered to operate a passenger and cycle service to the jetty in summer 2014.

 

The new jetty is being designed by Walcon, a worldwide leader in the design, construction and installation of marinas and berthing facilities. Globally, the company has worked on projects such as Florida’s North Palm Beach Marina, the Victoria and Albert Waterfront in Cape Town, and the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Dubai. Meanwhile, in Cumbria, the company’s previous installations include Whitehaven Marina, Maryport Marina and Low Wood Watersports.

 

The Bark Barn jetty will be constructed in Portsmouth, before arriving in Cumbria in the next couple of weeks. It will then be craned onto Windermere at Lakeside, before being transported up England’s longest lake and installed ahead of the 2014 summer holiday season.

 

The installation itself will be a complex task, as it is being designed to be more environmentally-friendly – avoiding the introduction of large piles into the lake-bed. It will also be more ‘weather-proof’, with high resistance against strong winds and flooding.  

 

Steve Ratcliffe, Director of Planning and Management at the Lake District National Park Authority, says, “This is one of the biggest infrastructure projects being supported through the GoLakes Travel programme and is a great incentive for more people to leave their cars at home and explore the area by boat. Not only will this facility help ease traffic congestion and reduce harmful carbon emissions, but it will enhance the world-class visitor experience on offer by giving both visitors and locals a completely new perspective on England’s longest lake. As well as linking in with scenic family walking routes along the western shore, there are plenty of options for easy cycling to Claife Heights and Wray Castle. Hawkshead is also within easy reach.”

 

South Lakeland District Councillor, Sue Sanderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment and People, says, “One of the most picturesque and peaceful shores of Windermere will be opened up by the new floating jetty. Walkers and cyclists will have direct access to this beautiful location. They will be able to leave their cars behind, get off a boat at Bark Barn near Belle Grange and walk or cycle along the West Shore Cycle Trail towards Wray Castle. At South Lakeland District Council we want to play our part in increasing access to the western shore of the lake by providing visitors, local people and developers with high quality access points. The floating jetty at Bark Barn will be the first of a network of new jetties on Windermere. There are plans for a new jetty at Wray Castle Harbour and for one at the South Basin. Up until now there have been very few opportunities for people to gain access to the western shore. It will be a great introduction to this unspoiled location and to the cycle trail by the lake.  If you’re on a day out it will be a real adventure to take a boat and explore on foot or by bike.”

 

John Moffat, General Manager for the National Trust’s South Lakes Property, adds, “It is great that this project is taking place, helping to fill the gap on the western shore of Windermere to allow easy access for visitors without their vehicles. It is an important link in the access network between Claife Viewing Station and Wray Castle, both National Trust places where we are looking to improve our visitor offer. Key to both of these offers is the experience of getting there – and what better way to get to places in the Lake District than by boat, then bike or boot?”

 

ENDS

 

New push to attract Chinese and Japanese visitors to the Lakes

 

Attracting new Chinese and Japanese visitors will be the top of the agenda this month, when Windermere Lake Cruises heads to Wembley Stadium for what is now the largest ever business-to-business tourism event promoting Britain internationally.

 

The company will be flying the flag for the Lake District at the ‘March Marketplace’ event on 17 and 18 March 2014, alongside some of the country’s most iconic and internationally renowned attractions like St Pauls Cathedral and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

 

Organised by the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) and VisitBritain, the event widely known as ‘MaMa’ will enable directors from Windermere Lake Cruises to arrange a series of face-to-face meetings with international buyers from more than 25 countries across the globe.

 

Reinforcing the area’s long-standing popularity with the Japanese and building relationships with tour operators from the global powerhouse that is China will be among the company’s key aims for the event. The company will also be speaking to representatives from a range of European countries, such as the Netherlands, which has a particularly strong affinity with the Lake District.

 

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, says: “We can’t underestimate the value of the overseas travel market for generating visitors and helping grow not just our business, but supporting the future prosperity of the Lakes and Cumbria as a whole. This is much more than just an event for an events sake. It is about reinforcing our existing partnerships, as well as establishing and developing business in new overseas markets.”

ENDS

 

 

Major recruitment drive at leading tourist attraction

 

A major recruitment drive has got underway at Windermere Lake Cruises, with around 75 jobs on offer ahead of the 2014 peak summer holiday season.

 

With around 1.25 million passenger journeys every year, the company is officially one of the country’s top ten ‘paid for’ visitor attractions according to the national tourist board VisitEngland. During the summer months, staff numbers need to double to approximately 150 staff to cope with the huge demand from passengers wanting to experience England’s longest lake on a Windermere Lake Cruise.

 

The search is now on to fill a variety of customer service roles at Lakeside, Bowness and Ambleside. The fixed-term contracts include crew to work on board the company’s 16 vessels, made up of three historic steamers, as well as a fleet of ‘waterbuses’ and traditional wooden launches. Other positions available over the busy April-November period range from staff for ticket offices, cafes, shops and information centres to drivers for the Bowness ‘road train’.

 

HR Manager at Windermere Lake Cruises, Ian Wilkinson, says, “We run a complex operation seven days a week throughout the year, so it’s important we get the right people in place to ensure our visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience on one of the country’s most iconic lakes. Windermere Lake Cruises offers full training to new recruits, not to mention some of the best views you are likely to find anywhere!”

 

Job application forms are available online. Further details are also available by emailing recruitment@windermere-lakecruises.co.uk or calling 015394 43360.

 

ENDS

 

 

Media release: 12 February 2014

       

 

Popular visitor attractions join together to offer special deal for locals

 

Local people travelling on Windermere Lake Cruises can now discover an incredible underwater world for less, after the Lakes Aquarium joined one of Cumbria’s most popular residents’ discount schemes.

 

Around 18,000 people living in the CA and LA postcodes (covering all of Cumbria and much of North Lancashire) are currently signed up for Windermere Lake Cruises’ free Residents Passes. They already provide 50% off scheduled sailings from 1 October-1 May annually, as well as 20% off during the summer months.

 

Now anyone who shows their Residents’ Pass at the Lakes Aquarium can get 30% off entry to the attraction all year-round. That means passengers can step off a majestic steamer or ‘waterbus’ at Lakeside and go straight from the quayside into the Aquarium to enjoy the special discounts reserved only for local people.

 

Visitors to the Aquarium will enjoy stand-out freshwater displays, including a spectacular underwater walkway complete with diving ducks. They can watch resident otters play, see some coastal sharks, meet some cheeky marmoset monkeys or even come face-to-face with baby dwarf crocodiles. Kids will also love the twice-daily ‘Meet the Creatures’ sessions (12.45pm & 2.30pm).

 

Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, Nigel Wilkinson, says, “It’s great to welcome another popular visitor attraction into our popular Residents’ scheme, which is all about giving locals the chance to experience some of the great attractions on their doorstep without breaking the bank. It costs absolutely nothing to sign up for a Residents’ Pass, so they’re an ideal way to help keep families entertained for less.”

 

Marketing Coordinator at the Lakes Aquarium, Susan Milby, adds “We are pleased to join with all other Lakeside attractions to offer a special rate to local residents. Local people can now enjoy the delights of Lakes Aquarium for the price of £4.85 per adult and £3.45 per child, making it a cost effective way to enjoy Windermere!”

 

Windermere Lake Cruises’ Residents’ Pass also entitles card-holders to big discounts at other nearby attractions including the Lakeland Motor Museum and the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway.

 

To sign up, call 015394 43360 or download a short form from www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk. All that’s needed is proof of permanent residency in a CA or LA postcode area.

 

ENDS

 

 

18th Dec 2013

 

‘Steamer’ cruise in the Lakes named as “dream activity” for international visitors

 

New research commissioned to find out which ‘only in Britain’ activities people from around the world would like to do on their holidays has highlighted a ‘steamer’ cruise in the Lake District as sixth on the list. That’s according to a new report just issued by national tourism body VisitBritain.

 

10,000 people were interviewed as part of the research into UK tourism trends, including around 500 from each of 19 countries around the world. Although the perennial favourite of “visiting Buckingham Palace” was the most popular choice for overseas visitors, a ‘steamer’ cruise in the Lake District came out sixth, with 17% of those questioned overall placing the experience in their top three “dream activities” while visiting Great Britain.

 

A lake cruise was the stand-out favourite for Turkish visitors, who made it their number one choice – above the likes of the London Eye, Edinburgh Castle and shopping on Oxford Street. A host of other nationalities also placed it in their top five things to do, including the Japanese, South Koreans, Polish, South Africans and Canadians.

 

More than 20% of passengers travelling with Windermere Lake Cruises come from locations outside the UK.  In total,  the company hosts around 1.3 million passenger journeys annually and currently operates three iconic steamers on England’s longest lake; MV Tern, MV Swan and the largest vessel ever built for Windermere, MV Teal. Most recently, Teal was in the spotlight after she welcomed Her Majesty the Queen and Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal aboard earlier this summer.

 

Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, Nigel Wilkinson, says, “It’s great to see that so many overseas visitors recognise that the UK has plenty to offer outside London. This latest research demonstrates the enduring appeal of the Lakes and shows that a ‘steamer’ cruise really is regarded as a quintessential experience for prospective visitors from a wide variety of countries around the globe.

 

“That said, we do face stiff competition from destinations across the UK. So as we look forward to 2014, we want to continue building on the reputation of the Lake District and make the most of every opportunity to help encourage visitors to experience the great tourism offer outside the Capital.”

 

ENDS

 

11th Dec 2013

A Christmas cracker of an offer

 for local residents

 

Two of Cumbria’s most popular visitor attractions are joining together to offer local residents an early Christmas present – with almost 50% off combined ‘car and cruise’ tickets over the festive period.

 

From Saturday 21 December 2013 to Sunday 5 January (excluding Christmas Day only),  every adult with a local Residents Pass can get a return cruise between Bowness and Lakeside together with entry to the Lakeland Motor Museum for just £10.00. (Children’s tickets are just £6.00 each) The deal even includes a family ticket option and dedicated bus travel for the short journey between Lakeside and the Museum, tied in with Windermere Lake Cruises’ scheduled sailings.

 

Anyone living in the CA or LA postcodes (covering all of Cumbria and much of North Lancashire) is eligible for the free Residents Passes, which already provide significant discounts on entry to both attractions throughout the year.

 

This latest residents’ offer follows on from the success of the combined attraction tickets in 2013. More than 7,900 people purchased combined tickets for Windermere Lake Cruises and the Lakeland Motor Museum during this year’s main holiday season (Feb-Oct) – that’s up more than 9% on figures for the same period in 2012.

 

Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, Nigel Wilkinson, says, “We know how stretched people’s budgets are – particularly at this time of year – so it’s great to be able to offer local people these special reductions over the Christmas period.

 

“This special offer means passengers can enjoy a relaxing sail down Windermere from Bowness, before hopping on a dedicated bus to the Lakeland Motor Museum for a touch of nostalgia at half the price. Alternatively, they can start and end their day at the Museum, parking in the free car park and using it as a base for the day’s adventures.”

 

The bus link between Lakeside and the Lakeland Motor Museum will also be running on weekends during early 2014 (up to 30th March ), as well as February half-term week (Monday 17th – Friday 21st Feb).

 

To sign up for a Residents Pass, contact:

 

 

Proof of permanent residency in a CA or LA postcode area will be required.

 

ENDS

 

 

11th Dec 2013

A Christmas cracker of an offer

 for visitors to the Lakes

 

Two of Cumbria’s most popular attractions have teamed up to offer visitors an early Christmas present – with big reductions on combined ‘car and cruise’ tickets over the festive period.

 

Combined tickets offering a return journey on Windermere Lake Cruises together with entry to the Lakeland Motor Museum have proved so popular during the main summer season (up 9% on the same period last year) that the special tickets will now be offered over the Christmas holidays too. With the exception of Christmas Day only, that means a bargain day out is on offer any time between Sat 21 Dec 2013 and Sun 5 Jan 2014.

 

The combined offer allows visitors to take in the iconic landscape of England’s longest lake with a relaxing cruise from the cosy confines of a Windermere waterbus. They can then head down memory lane to the Lakeland Motor Museum – the attraction’s unique collection of 30,000 exhibits (including 150 historic cars and motorcycles) have been carefully assembled over 50 years to reflect road transport developments throughout the 20th century.

 

A regular bus service will also be running between the Motor Museum and the quay at Lakeside, at the southern tip of Windermere, to coincide with scheduled sailings.

 

Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, Nigel Wilkinson, says, “We know how stretched people’s budgets are – particularly at this time of year – so it’s great to be able to offer these special reductions over the Christmas period. Both attractions are open 7 days a week and are ideal if the weather outside isn’t so welcoming. A dedicated bus service also provides added ease and convenience.

 

 

 

The combined tickets cost from £14.75 per adult (including a return cruise Bowness-Lakeside, entry to the Motor Museum and return bus transfer). Children cost from £9.00 each, while family tickets can be purchased from £42.00.

 

ENDS

 

 

Halloween ‘Ghost Ship’ with spooky storyteller

 

Parents can keep the kids enthralled this October half term with some spooky storytelling aboard a very special ‘Ghost Ship’ on Windermere.

 

One of Windermere Lake Cruises’ historic steamers will be decked out in Halloween-themed decorations, as the UK’s first official Laureate for Storytelling, Taffy Thomas MBE, entertains passengers with his unique brand of spooky tales and folklore about lakeside locations.

 

Setting sail on Wednesday 30 October 2013, traditional storyteller Taffy will be marking some of the ghostly goings on in and around the iconic landscape down the centuries. So whether you’re a true believer or a hardened sceptic, his storytelling cabin is sure to be centrepiece of the cruise.

 

There’ll also be plenty of family games and themed activities including face-painting on board. To make the budget stretch a little further, every child in fancy dress accompanied by a paying adult will be allowed on the Ghost Ship for free.

 

The full timetable for departures is:

 

  • Lakeside, 1.35pm
  • Bowness, 2.30pm
  • Ambleside, 3.15pm
  • Bowness, 4.00pm (for final sail to Lakeside, arriving at 4.40pm)

 

For maximum flexibility, passengers can join the spooky spectacle for all or part of the journey, using Windermere Lake Cruises’ usual scheduled tickets.

 

Prices start from £10.00 for adults and £6.00 for children, aged 5-15 (based on Bowness-Ambleside, return). Under 5s are free. Family tickets are also available.

Ends

 

 

Festive family fun with ‘Santa Sailings’

 

Families can experience the stunning landscape of wintry Windermere and kick off their Christmas celebrations in style, with special Santa Sailings on England’s longest lake.

 

Windermere Lake Cruises will be running the special festive cruises from the warm and cosy surroundings of a boat beautifully decked out in traditional Christmas decorations on two weekends in December.

 

Father Christmas and his cheerful elves will create an enchanting experience for all ages, keeping youngsters captivated with festive games and entertainment, as well as individually wrapped gifts to take home with them. Meanwhile, mums and dads can take a well-earned break from the yuletide preparations on this leisurely journey, complete with a glass of sherry and delicious mince pies. Other winter warmers on offer include coffee, tea or even a hearty cup of hot chocolate with a hint of rum.

 

Setting off from Bowness on the lake’s eastern shore, the one and a half hour cruises will take in wooded shorelines and tranquil bays along the way, and who knows, perhaps even a peek at some snow-capped mountains!

 

Windermere Lake Cruises will be hosting eight special Santa Sailings in the run-up to Christmas 2013, with the festive fun starting twice daily (11.30am and 2.00pm) on:

 

  • Saturday 7th December
  • Sunday 8th December
  • Saturday 14th December
  • Sunday 15th December

Tickets are £9.95 each for adults and children aged three and over, while under threes cost £4.95. That includes festive entertainment, Christmas games, individual gifts, mince pies and a complimentary glass of sherry for grown-ups.

 

Tickets can be pre-booked online or by calling 015394 43360.

 

Ends

Media release:  October 2013                               

 

Big Autumn push to attract new international visitors for 2014

 

Windermere Lake Cruises is planning a series of high profile activities this autumn to attract more overseas visitors to Windermere and the surrounding area in 2014.

 

The company - which employs 160+ people in peak season and is ranked as one of the top ten most popular attractions in the country by England’s national tourist board VisitEngland,– already attracts a large proportion of passengers from across the globe. More than 30% of its business comes from locations outside the UK, particularly Japan and more recently, China. European countries such as the Netherlands also have a strong affinity with the Lakes, while South America is another emerging market.

 

In the coming weeks, representatives from the company will be meeting tour operators from around the globe to showcase the Lake District, Cumbria, to both short-haul and long-haul travellers. That includes taking part in VisitBritain’s International Business Exchange (known as ‘VIBE’) on 9-10 October 2013, as well as the Global European Marketplace (or ‘GEM’) at Wembley on 1 November and the World Travel Market event at ExCel London (4-7 November).

 

Windermere Lake Cruises will also be among a high level delegation, including Cumbria Tourism and other businesses from the Lake District Japan Forum, who will be flying over to Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo later this month (21-25 October) for a demanding round of 50 office visits, meetings and presentations.

 

Alan Fisher, Sales Manager for Windermere Lake Cruises, says, “International visitors are a vital part of our business. As well as the long-standing popularity with the Japanese, we’ve also seen a definite increase in the number of visitors from China this year. The potential volume of people from this global powerhouse is immense, so we obviously want to continue building on this for 2014.

 

We face stiff competition from across the UK, so we want to make the most of the opportunity to help lure visitors outside London and highlight the Lake District as the favoured destination. Forging strong links with organisations with ETOA, the European Tour Operators Association, is a key part of this work.

 

ENDS

 

 

Media release: 16 October 2013

 

Half term family fun:

Free bike hire and British Cycling-led guided rides in the Lakes

 

Mums and dads can keep the kids entertained – and help get fit – with a free Family Cycling Festival at Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre near Ambleside this half term.

GoLakes Travel have partnered with British Cycling to arrange a special day of cycling activities for families on Sunday 27 October at Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre.  Families can take part in three free guided ‘Sky Ride Local’ rides, suitable for a range of ages and cycling abilities.  Participants can hire a bike for free from Electric Mountain or bring their own bike, while Windermere Lake Cruises will be running a special ‘bike boat’ service between Brockhole and Wray Castle on the day.

From Wray Castle, cyclists can then explore a range of traffic-free cycle paths fringing the western shoreline of Windermere, under the guidance of British Cycling trained leaders. With no upper or lower age limit, there will be two ‘easygoing’ rides for younger families and one ‘steady’ ride with a bit more challenge on quiet roads and tracks. 

All three routes start from Brockhole car park:

  • 11.30am – Easygoing (6 miles)
  • 12.30pm – Steady (13 miles)
  • 2.00pm - Easygoing (6 miles)

 

The rides follow the success of the award-winning Sky Ride Local programme in the Lakes, which saw hundreds of people dust off their bikes and get pedalling this summer.

 

Places are available by pre-booking online at www.goskyride.com/Lakes.

To book free bike hire, riders should also call Electric Mountain in advance on 07407 422 798 and quote ‘Family Cycling Festival at Brockhole’.

 

As well as the guided bike rides, the festival will include a range of other activities to enjoy throughout the day at Brockhole.  Visitors can try out electric bikes for free and there will be plenty of information for first-time cyclists and committed bikers alike. They can also take part in Brockhole’s ‘Apple Fun Day’ which takes place on the same day – sampling local produce, completing an apple treasure hunt and even competing in the longest peel competition.

-Ends-

 

 

The Queen and The Princess Royal sail on board historic Windermere steamer

 

 

One of Windermere’s historic steamers has today, Wednesday 17 July, welcomed two very special visitors; Her Majesty The Queen and Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.

 

MV Teal, the largest steamer ever built for the lake, hosted the two Royal guests on a cruise from Bowness-on-Windermere up the lake to Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre. It is the second time The Queen has travelled on board the Teal, having previously sailed from Ambleside to Bowness with The Duke of Edinburgh back in August 1956.

 

On Bowness pier, the Royal visitors met informally with staff from Windermere Lake Cruises and members of the boat crew. They were also presented with a posy of flowers by two local schoolchildren nominated by their head teachers, as well as viewing a mosaic portrait of Her Majesty produced from 2,450 photos of Keswick and the Lake District.

 

Then on board the Teal, The Queen and The Princess Royal met representatives from a range of local charities and The Queen unveiled a special plaque to commemorate her second sailing on board the historic vessel.

 

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, says, “It is a tremendous honour to welcome The Queen back to Windermere and on board Teal, almost 60 years after her first visit. We are all very proud to have been asked to take part and to show both Her Majesty and The Princess Royal an iconic landscape which has not only captivated generations of visitors, but has also inspired some of the world’s most renowned writers, artists and poets.”

 

Teal was built by Vickers Armstrong in Barrow-in-Furness and originally launched on Windermere on 4 July 1936. A member of the National Historic Fleet, the vessel  currently carries up to 533 passengers and like her sister ships, Swan and Tern, is named after one of the bird species which makes its home around the shoreline of England’s largest natural lake.

 

For more information about the steamers and Windermere Lake Cruises, visit: www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk

 

ENDS

 

Tuesday 2 July 2013

New Windermere ‘Bike Boat’ to go daily

 

A newly launched ‘Bike Boat’ - providing a special ferry service for cyclists across England’s longest lake - will go daily for the school summer holidays.

 

Windermere Lake Cruises has specially adapted a traditional wooden vessel, Sunflower, to carry up to 12 bikes and passengers across the lake and back. Running approximately every 20 minutes, it will act as a ferry service for cyclists travelling between Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre, on the eastern side of the lake and Wray, on Windermere’s tranquil western shore.

 

This new shuttle service offers people a great way to access family-friendly cycling routes on the western shore bridleway, newly enhanced through the GoLakes Travel programme. It also offers easier access to the ancient woods of Claife Heights, the scenic village of Hawkshead and quiet roads up to Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top.

 

The Bike Boat links in with the 800 Bike Bus service, run by Stagecoach, which runs the full length of Windermere and has also been converted to carry up to 12 bikes.

 

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, says, “The Bike Boat is a completely new service for the Lake District and England’s largest lake. With weekend crossings already underway and 10 daily crossings each way through the summer holidays, it’s a convenient way to connect families and their bikes with safer, traffic free routes as part of the ever-developing bike network on Windermere’s western shore.”

 

After initially launching a weekend service this May, the Bike Boat will now run daily from Saturday 20 July – Saturday 31 August (and then every weekend until the end of September).

The Bike Boat’s first crossing from Brockhole to Wray gets underway at 10.20am, with the final service of the day returning from Wray to Brockhole at 5.15pm. Tickets include one passenger and one bike, with single fares starting at £1.80 for children and £3.00 for adults. Return and family tickets (2 adults and up to 3 children) are also available.

 

For the Bike Boat’s full timetable, visit: www.windermerebikeboat.co.uk

 

 

Tuesday 9 July 2013

 

South Cumbrian businesses come together to provide free summer travel for all

A free bus service linking up a range of visitor destinations across South Lakes is back bigger and better than ever before, thanks to support from the GoLakes Travel programme and a unique collaboration of local businesses.

 

The South Lakes FreeRider has proved popular with visitors and residents over the past two years, and this summer will see the route extended to Grange-over-Sands and Grizedale Forest. That means passengers not only have easier access to the coastal village of Grange and the Cartmel Peninsula, but a range of activities at Grizedale Visitor Centre including mountain biking, Go Ape! and walking trails boasting sixty impressive sculptures to discover across the forest.

 

The completely FreeRider service will run weekdays from Monday 22 July – Friday 30 August, offering a convenient way for families to get around and make the most of the school summer holidays. The timetable also links in with Windermere Lake Cruises’ scheduled sailings from Lakeside, at the southern end of Windermere, and the X30 ‘Cross Lakes Experience’ bus link for onward journeys to Hawkshead.

 

The FreeRider is being supported by an array of businesses along the route, including:

  • Cartmel traders  
  • Café Ambio                    
  • Duckys Park Farm
  • Grange traders                          
  • Grizedale  Forest Visitor Centre                  
  • Haven Holidays
  • Holker Hall
  • Lakes Aquarium
  • Lakeside Hotel 
  • Lakeland Motor Museum                
  • Merlewood  Hotel                
  • Rusland Pool Hotel
  • Stott Park Bobbin Mill
  • Windermere Lake Cruises       
  • Yew Tree Barn      

 

Ian Wilkinson, from Windermere Lake Cruises says, “Last year’s FreeRider was very popular, so it’s great news to be offering a newly extended route for 2013. It’s testament to the commitment of all the local businesses that we’ve been able to work together once again to offer free travel right through the school summer holidays.”

 

The South Lakes FreeRider will run from 8:15am (starting at Haven Holiday Park) until approximately 6.15pm on weekdays, Monday 22 July – Friday 31 August.

 

Monday 17th June 2013 

‘Ranger boats’ offer a fresh look

 at the wonders of Windermere

 

Sit back and enjoy a fresh look at Windermere this summer aboard one of the special ‘Ranger Boats’ setting sail on England’s largest lake.

 

Complete with live commentary from dedicated Lake District National Park Rangers, these three hour sailings aboard the lake’s historic steamers will run in July, August and September and will provide a unique perspective of the lake, its wildlife and its history.

 

The sailings showcase a range of popular - and lesser-known - lakeside locations, and will take in an array of interesting stories and quirky facts, from Windermere’s creation in the Ice Age to its more recent development as a tourist destination.

 

Along the way, passengers will hear about the key locations they can see. Take Wray Castle, at the northern end of the lake, which is a talking point for all things Beatrix Potter as well as the creation of the National Trust. 

 

There’s also plenty for wildlife lovers, with visitors poised to spot a variety of ducks, geese and swans, including the distinctive red-breasted merganser and the impressive cormorant colony living on the islands in the centre of the lake.

 

The Rangers will be based on the top deck of the appropriately named Swan or Teal.

 

John Woodburn, Operations Director at Windermere Lake Cruises, says, “Windermere’s wildlife, history and industrial architecture make it a very special place, and these cruises are a great way for people to be inspired by their surroundings. There’s no fixed script, as it’s all about what’s happening in the landscape right now. They’re ideal for all the family, with the chance to relax and escape everyday stresses and strains, but also to learn more about the lake and what makes it such a popular destination for visitors.”

 

 

These ‘Ranger boats’ will set sail from Windermere Lake Cruises’ Steamer Pier at Bowness at 12.20pm on Wednesdays in July, August and September 2013. The full dates are:

  • July – 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st
  • August – 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th
  • September – 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th

 

These are all scheduled sailings, with tickets available to book online at:

 www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk

 

There is no additional cost for the Ranger talks.

 

ENDS

 

22 May 2013

 

‘Park and Sail’ to the UK’s biggest outdoor Swimming Event

 

Spectators heading to the Great North Swim this summer (14-16 June 2013) can escape the traffic and bag themselves a truly unique viewpoint for one of the summer’s most exciting sporting spectacles with Windermere Lake Cruises.

 

From first timers to Olympic champions, more than 10,000 participants are expected to take part in this year’s three day festival on England’s largest lake, held against the backdrop of the iconic Lakeland fells. With a series of different races (half mile, one mile, two mile and five kilometre), the Great North Swim is a great opportunity to watch some top swimmers perform in stunning natural surroundings.

 

What’s more, Windermere Lake Cruises’ regular services operate 16 boats from seven lakeside locations – including three steamers, nine waterbuses and four wooden launches – providing a convenient way to get around the lake without the hassle of congested roads or parking nightmares.

 

Instead, visitors can park their cars at Lakeside at the southern tip of the lake before cruising gently up Windermere to all the sporting action at the northern end. Alternatively, there is also plenty of parking at Bowness, on the eastern shore of Windermere.

 

With special ‘Freedom of the Lake’ passes available for families, the ‘Park and Sail’ option is also a cost-efficient way to get around for budget-conscious visitors.

 

Entries for the event itself are still open, but going fast. For more information or to register please visit www.greatswim.org/north

 

-ends-

 

 

21 May 2013

 

New Directors appointed for first time in ten years

 

Windermere Lake Cruises has unveiled the appointment of two new Directors for the first time in a decade. The news coincides with the twentieth anniversary of Bowness Bay Boating Co. purchasing The Windermere Iron Steamboat Company in May 1993 to form Windermere Lake Cruises.

 

We have confirmed that John Woodburn becomes the firm’s new Operations Director, while Andrew Simon is named as Finance Director. Both are long-standing employees and have progressed through the ranks of the company over a number of years. Mr Woodburn has worked for Windermere Lake Cruises for more than 35 years, while Mr Simon joined as a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) apprentice in 1998.

 

At the same time, Group Chairman Bill Bewley announced that Windermere Lake Cruises Limited’s owner, Bowness Bay Boating Co. Limited is changing its name to Winander Group Holdings Limited to better reflect the diversity of its business assets.

 

Mr Bewley says, “It is a momentous day for Windermere Lake Cruises. These new appointments are well-deserved and are part of our long-term strategy to strengthen our management team and ultimately safeguard our commercial development. Both John and Andrew have been chosen for their managerial and technical ability and will help ensure the business is well-positioned to drive forward for the future.”

 

“By chance, the news coincides with the twentieth Anniversary of Bowness Bay Boating Co. acquiring the Windermere Iron Steamboat Company, to become the company we know today as Windermere Lake Cruises. Therefore, the timing of this announcement has particular significance.”

 

-ends-

 

 

2 May 2013

 

Summer Evening Jazz Cruises set against the dramatic Lakeland Fells

 

Visitors to England’s largest lake can enjoy the lighter, longer evenings and take in iconic Lake District scenery with special Jazz Cruises aboard one of Windermere’s majestic steamers this summer.

 

A series of 20+ Summer Evening Jazz Cruises – combining good food, stunning views and great music - get underway from Saturday 1st June 2013 and run through to the end of August.

 

Whether it’s a group outing with family and friends, a romantic occasion or a unique way to round off a day on the Lakeland fells, passengers can enjoy a relaxing beer or glass of wine from a well-stocked bar, before tucking into a sumptuous chilled buffet.  They can then take to the dance floor or simply sit back and enjoy the unique perspective of Windermere’s shoreline as they glide around England’s largest natural lake.

 

Freshly prepared food will include an array of local produce such as lamb and beef from the fells, Windermere Char, cheese from Cumbrian dairies and shrimps from Morecambe Bay. It all comes courtesy of locally-based Andrew Southcott Catering, which counts the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh amongst its other previous clients. Meanwhile, musical entertainment will be provided by Windermere Lake Cruises’ resident band Trickle Charge, a popular four-piece group who’ll get toes tapping with a mixture of latin rhythms, mainstream jazz and tasteful pop.

 

Departing from Bowness, the 2½ hour cruises take place abroad one of two historic steamers, the MV Swan or the MV Teal, which are both members of the National Historic Fleet. Swan celebrates its 75th birthday in June, while Teal is well known as the lake’s oldest and most iconic vessel and also carried the Olympic Torch ahead of London 2012.

 

The full list of Summer Evening Jazz Cruise dates for 2013 is:

  • June (every Saturday)
  • July (every Wednesday & Saturday)
  • August (every Wednesday & Saturday)

 

Tickets cost £29.95 per adult and £18 per child (5-15 years). Family tickets are available for £85 (2 adults + upto 3 children).

 

There are also group discounts for parties of 12 or more, with the group organiser travelling free and a £1 reduction per person.

 

Call 015394 43360 to reserve a place or book online.

 

-ends-

 

 

 

28 March 2013

 

 

New Bus Loop to Wray Castle

extends ‘Cross Lakes Experience’

 

It’s now even easier to explore the South and Central Lakes completely car-free, with the launch of a bus link to the Victorian, gothic-style Wray Castle on the western shore of Windermere.

The new bus loop between Hawkshead and Wray Castle is part of the newly-extended ‘Cross Lakes Experience’ which enables passengers to travel easily between a range of popular visitor attractions across a wide area spanning Windermere, Coniston and Grizedale Forest.

The Cross Lakes Experience brings together a network of transport providers (including Mountain Goat, Stagecoach, Windermere Lake Cruises, Coniston Gondola and the Coniston Launch) to provide a range of flexible one-day tickets.

From today, Thursday 28 March, the route has been extended to the National Trust’s Wray Castle and Low Wray Campsite, with support from the GoLakes Travel Programme, to make it quicker and more convenient to travel around the Central and South Lakes car-free.

The new X30 bus loop carries up to 16 passengers, with room for up to 4 bikes. It’s ideal for linking up with cycle ways such as the recently resurfaced Windermere West Shore Route between Ferry Nab and Claife Viewing Station and Wray Castle, which was also funded through GoLakes Travel.

It comes as Wray Castle re-opens to the public following a major investment repair project running over the past 6 months. The castle has a long-running association with Beatrix Potter and is well-known as a family-friendly space with something for everyone, whatever the weather; that includes plenty of dressing up and activities for children, guided tours and a café inside, plus a rope swing, den-building and trails in the informal gardens and grounds.

 

With the extension to Low Wray campsite, visitors really can be ‘car free’ when coming to and staying in the Lakes. Visitors arriving by bus or boat will also get money off admission to Wray Castle, or in the café or Castle’s shop.

To complement the extended Cross Lakes Experience, all ticket-holders will now also benefit from 20% off both Go Ape! Grizedale and food products in Grizedale Forest Café, as well as discounted Grizedale mountain bike hire from one of the biggest fleets of bike in the North of England. Grizedale Forest Visitor Centre is a great base for eight waymarked walking trails, with sixty sculptures across the forest to discover.

Emma Moody, Passenger Transport Advisor for the GoLakes Travel Programme, said, This newly extended service is a great example of different transport providers working together on integrated ticketing. Passengers only need to buy one ticket, which means less stress, quicker connections and no hidden costs. Plus, they now have direct access to Wray Castle without the need for a car, giving families another great option for a fun-packed day out”.

John Moffat, General Manager for the National Trust in the South Lakes, which includes Wray Castle, welcomed the new initiative and added, “It’s fantastic news that Wray Castle is the latest link on the Cross Lakes Experience. Visitors can now hop on a new bus service from Hawkshead, enjoy a lakeside walk or cycle and then sail home! Not only does it make a great day out, it also helps to keep the Lake District a special place, by reducing the traffic on our roads”.

 

Ian Wilkinson, from Windermere Lake Cruises, said, “Even if you’ve lived in the Lakes for years, the Cross Lakes Experience is a great, value-for-money way of seeing the landscape around Windermere from a completely new perspective. Passengers can sit back and enjoy spending time with their loved ones without the worry of driving and parking at each location.”

 

Stephen Broughton, from Mountain Goat added, “We are really pleased to be involved in linking up travel on the west side of Windermere”.

The enhanced daily Cross Lakes Experience will now operate daily through to Sunday

3 November. For timetables and fares, visit: www.golakestravel.co.uk/crosslakes

 

ENDS

 

 

6th March

 

Older Generation to enjoy 75% saving on the Lake District's most popular Tourist Attraction.

 

Pensioners Days launched for April and May 2013.

 

From Lancaster to Carlisle, Workington to Penrith, pensioners from throughout Cumbria and North Lancashire can enjoy a day out on Windermere for under a fiver this Spring,

 

On Fridays throughout April and May, retirees who are permanently resident within the LA and CA postcode areas are being offered the chance to travel on scheduled sailings with Windermere Lake Cruises at substantially reduced fares.

 

That includes a saving of £13.25 on 24 hour ‘Freedom of the Lake’ tickets, which can be purchased for £4.50 on these special days.  All other boat tickets are just £2.50.

 

Each pensioner can bring one local friend, of any age, at the same price. They can also enjoy half price adult admission at other lakeside attractions, including the Lakeland Motor Museum, Lakeside and Haverthwaite Steam Railway and the Lakes Aquarium.

 

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, says, “You don’t have to be ‘old aged’ to benefit from our Pensioner Days, as long as you can show proof of retirement. You can even bring one local friend, of any age, at the same price. So it really is a great way for different generations to come together and enjoy the lake without breaking the bank.”

The full dates for this Spring’s Pensioner Days are: 

 

April 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th

May 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st

 

Passengers may be asked to produce proof of residency, such as a utility bill or drivers licence. If they’ve retired early, they should also bring proof of retirement.

 

ENDS

 

 

8 February 2013

 

‘Cross Lakes Experience’ gets underway for February half-term

 

Families can leave the hassle of driving at home this February half term, with the launch of the ‘Cross Lakes Experience’ ticket in the heart of the English Lake District.

 

Windermere Lake Cruises has teamed up with tour specialists Mountain Goat and The National Trust to bring the service to the shores of Windermere and beyond. With daily services from Sat 16 – Sun 24 February, the Cross Lakes Experience links up England’s largest lake with Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s House and Hawkshead, two of the locations most synonymous with one of the Lake District’s best loved inhabitants, children’s author Beatrix Potter.

 

The Cross Lakes Experience gets underway at Bowness Bay with a cruise across Windermere to the tranquil, western side of the lake. Passengers can then take a mini coach to Potter’s 17th century farmhouse at Hill Top, preserved by The National Trust as a time-capsule of her fascinating life. There’s then the option of a short trip to Hawkshead, a chocolate-box village with connections to both Potter and the poet William Wordsworth.

 

Ian Wilkinson, from Windermere Lake Cruises, said, “The Cross Lakes Experience is a great, value-for-money way of seeing the landscape around Windermere from a completely new perspective. With regular services throughout February half-term, passengers can sit back and enjoy spending time with their loved ones without the worry of driving and parking at each location.”

 

Joanne Hudson, of The National Trust at Hill Top, said, “The Cross Lakes Experience allows visitors to make the most of their day in the Lakes. Leaving the car behind and taking the boat and bus makes the journey a special part of a day out. And so much easier and greener than taking the car! It’s a great way to see the real sights and landscape which inspired Beatrix Potter.”

 

Special family tickets (2 adults and 3 children) are available for the Cross Lakes Experience costing £31.00 for a return journey, from Bowness to Hawkshead. Passengers can also choose to do shorter sections of the route if they prefer, with prices for a single cruise across Windermere (Bowness-Ferry House) starting from just £1.50 for children and £2.55 for adults.

 

As well as running throughout February half term, the Cross Lakes Experience will also be available every weekend in March, with a new extended service getting underway at Easter.

 

17 January 2013

 

Windermere Lake Cruises set sail for ‘ultimate travel trade event of 2013’

 

Windermere Lake Cruises will be showcasing a range of value for money, family days out at BOBI (Best of Britain and Ireland) 2013.

 

We will be at the Birmingham’s NEC, 13-14 March 2013, for the event alongside a number of other key Cumbrian attractions such as the Lakeland Motor Museum.

 

According to official VisitEngland figures, Windermere Lake Cruises ranks in the top ten list of paid for visitor attractions in England - with 1.3 million passenger journeys annually. Windermere itself is England’s largest natural lake and one of the most iconic locations in the Lake District, Cumbria.

 

The attraction will be highlighting major dates throughout 2013, including:

 

  • Walkers Ticket launched, providing a ‘hop on, hop off’ option to take in one of the lake’s many picturesque walks. (February-November)
  • Summer timetable launched (Easter)
  • 75th birthday of MV Swan, one of Windermere’s three iconic steamers. Carrying up to 533 passengers, Swan is a member of the National Historic Fleet. (June)
  • Summer Jazz Cruises with live entertainment and summer buffet (June-August)
  • Sunset Cruises to take in the stunning sunsets across the lake (July/August)
  • Ranger Boats including a special live commentary from a National Park ranger (July-September)
  • Halloween ‘Ghost Ship’ featuring a ‘spooktacular’ theme (October)
  • Santa Sailings for family-oriented festive fun (December)

 

 

Wednesday 5 December

 

Open your Eyes to the Wildlife Wonders of Wintry Windermere!

 

With more than two and a half thousand birds due to descend on the shores of England’s largest natural lake in the coming weeks, wintry Windermere’s unique scenery and atmosphere make it the perfect time of year to get out and discover some spectacular natural wonders in the English Lake District.

 

Although Windermere is home to well over a thousand ducks, geese and swans throughout the year, the winter months see many more birds flying in from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe - that’s more any other lake in the region.

 

Lake Windermere is also one of the top places in the country to see a variety of more unusual species including the goldeneye duck, tufted duck, red-breasted merganser and pochard.

 

Scheduled sailings on the lake provide a unique perspective of the lakeshore, while there are many safe, family-friendly walking trails and new cycle routes alongside Windermere’s more tranquil, western shore for amateur birdwatchers to get closer to nature. The ancient woodlands at Claife Heights are also home to red deer and one of the few places you might see a red squirrel.

 

Robert Beale is a skipper with Windermere Lake Cruises and a keen amateur photographer. He has spotted a lot of interesting wildlife on his journeys around the lake including cormorants, great-crested grebes and even rare long-tailed ducks, alongside notoriously shy wild otters.

 

Robert says, “Nothing beats spotting wintering birds and other wildlife in their natural habitat. It’s a great time of year for people of all ages to see more and learn more about our natural world, including the vital importance of knowing when to step back and not intrude, so these species can continue to thrive in the Lake District for many generations to come.”

 

 

29 October 2012

 

New ‘Shop and Cruise’ Winter Warmer launched

 

Visitors to the Lake District are set to start 2013 in style with a relaxing seasonal cruise on England’s largest lake, coupled with some retail therapy at one of the region’s premier shopping outlet centres.

 

Windermere Lake Cruises and K Village, the Lakes Outlet, have joined together to offer a great day out to coach passengers looking for a unique mix of bargains, followed by a memorable boat trip - complete with some winter warmer treats.

K Village, known as “Shoe Heaven”, will be the first stop on the ‘Shop and Cruise’ excursion. Located in Kendal at the gateway to the stunning Lake District National Park, shoe fanatics can indulge their addiction with the largest Clarks store in the North of England, alongside top names like Staccato and Pavers Shoes. With some impressive savings (up to 60% off RRP), they’ll even have money left over to pamper themselves on a range of other great brands.

Later, visitors can sit back and enjoy a well-earned break with a leisurely cruise on Lake Windermere.  Passengers will take in the wintry landscape surrounding the lake, from the warmth and comfort  of one of Windermere Lake Cruises’ traditional or modern launches. Among the winter warmers on offer will be coffee, brandy or even a hearty cup of hot chocolate with a hint of rum.

Visitors will enjoy unique views of wooded shorelines and lovely tranquil bays - and who knows, maybe even snow-capped mountains basking in crisp winter sunshine? What better way to experience the seasonal splendour of one of the world’s most famous landscapes?

Find out more about group excursions on Windermere at: http://www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk/groups.php

 

 

13 November 2012

 

Family-friendly festive fun on Windermere

 

Windermere Lake Cruises is helping families celebrate in style this December with a series of festive Santa cruises.

 

The 90 minute ‘Santa Specials’ will set off from Bowness in the run up to Christmas, taking in the stunning landscape of wintry Windermere from the warm and cosy surroundings of a boat beautifully decked out in traditional Christmas decorations.

There’ll be plenty to entertain youngsters on board, including festive games and entertainment, as well as individually wrapped gifts to take home with them. Meanwhile, mums and dads can take a well-earned break from the yuletide preparations on this leisurely journey, complete with a glass of sherry and delicious mince pies.

Santa Special cruises will run twice daily (11.30am and 2.00pm) on:

  • Saturday 8th December
  • Sunday 9th December
  • Saturday 15th December
  • Sunday 16th December

Tickets are £9.95 each for adults and children aged three and over, while under threes cost £4.95. That includes festive entertainment, Christmas games, individual gifts, mince pies and a complimentary glass of sherry for grown-ups.

Early booking is advisable. Tickets can be pre-booked by online or by calling 015394 43360.

 

 

25 September 2012

 

Jump aboard Windermere’s Halloween Ghost Ship, with the UK's leading storyteller

 

A 145 foot ‘Ghost Ship’ will be taking to the waters of England’s largest lake this half term, complete with spooky tales from the UK’s first official Laureate for Storytelling Taffy Thomas MBE.

 

Windermere’s oldest and most iconic steamer MV Tern will be decked out in Halloween-themed decorations on Sunday 28 October 2012, to mark some of the ghostly goings on in and around Lake Windermere down the centuries.

 

The centrepiece will be a storytelling cabin with Taffy Thomas, who is widely acknowledged as the country’s leading light in the art of traditional storytelling. Taffy is the artistic director at the Grasmere-based Northern Centre for Storytelling, and he will be recounting a series of ghost stories about lakeside locations on the journey, such as the tale of the Claife Crier.

 

The Ghost Ship is being co-ordinated by Windermere Lake Cruises and Windermere Reflections to help people uncover the hidden heritage and folklore associated with the lake.

 

There will also be a range of other family games and themed activities including facepainting. Every child in fancy dress accompanied by a paying adult will be allowed on board free.

 

“Lake Windermere’s dramatic backdrop is ideal for this great family day out,” says Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises. “There is so much ghostly folklore associated with the Lake District, and who better than the country’s leading storyteller to bring it to life in this unique setting?

 

Taffy says, “This is a unique opportunity to hear some of the ghost stories of Windermere from my new book Folk Tales of Cumbria. When I tell the stories from our spooky cabin I can point across the lakes to the places they actually happened!”

 

Liz Davey, Programme Manager for Windermere Reflections, adds, “We’re really excited to be working with Taffy and Windermere Lake Cruises on this the first of a series of events bringing stories alive in their settings within Windermere’s catchment. It’s one of many ways we’re encouraging people to discover more about the environment and heritage of the area and get involved!”

 

The Ghost Ship will set sail from the southern end of Lake Windermere at Lakeside, travelling north to Bowness and Ambleside, before making a return trip down the lake. Passengers can join the spooky spectacle for some or part of the journey, using normal scheduled tickets (which will be available online for advance bookings).

 

The full timetable for departures on the day is:

 

  • Lakeside, 1.35pm
  • Bowness, 2.30pm
  • Ambleside, 3.15pm
  • Bowness, 4.00pm (for final sail to Lakeside, arriving at 4.40pm)

 

MV Tern was first launched in 1891 and is a member of the National Historic Fleet; most recently, it carried the Olympic Torch as part of the flame’s nationwide relay.

 


06 September 2012

 

Popular ‘Pensioner Days’ return for record tenth autumn season

 

Windermere’s popular ‘Pensioner Days’ are proving so popular they’re returning for a record tenth autumn season from this Friday 7 September – giving the older generation substantial savings on cruises around the lake.

 

Any retiree living in the CA and LA postcodes is eligible for the special discounts, available every Friday from 7 September up to and including 2 November.

 

For just £4.50, local pensioners can enjoy a 24 hour Freedom of the Lake ticket, making a saving of £12.75 per person.  The Pass allows unlimited travel on all scheduled boat services and includes free access to the Lake District National Park Visitor Centre at Brockhole.

 

All other boat tickets cost just £2.50, as do return fares on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Steam Railway. There is also half price adult admission at Lakeland Motor Museum and Lakes Aquarium on offer.

 

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, says, “A cruise on Lake Windermere is a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, so this is a great opportunity for local people to sit back and rediscover the spectacular scenery and lakeside attractions it’s all too easy to take for granted.

 

You don’t have to be ‘old aged’ to benefit from our Pensioner Days, as long as you can show proof of retirement. You can even bring one local friend, of any age, at the same price. So it really is a great way for different generations to come together and enjoy the lake without breaking the bank.”

 

Anyone wishing to enjoy the Pensioner Days should bring proof of address to the ticket office at Ambleside, Bowness or Lakeside. Those lucky enough to look too young to be retired may also be asked to provide proof of retirement.

 

To find out more please call 015394 43360.

 

 


04 September 2012

 

Free bus service more than doubles  number of passengers

 

The South Lakes FreeRider, a free bus service linking some of the Lake District’s most prominent attractions, has welcomed almost 7,000 passengers during just 30 days. That compares to 3,000 passengers during the same period in 2011.

 

The service is the result of an innovative collaboration between a group of local businesses, who joined together to fund and implement this great new way to get around.

 

The 2012 FreeRider launched in July and ran until the end of last week, carrying an average of 230 people during each day of operation.

 

Ian Wilkinson, HR & Operations Manager for Windermere Lake Cruises, says, “Last year’s scheme was very successful, but this summer, the popularity of the FreeRider has hugely surpassed our expectations. The South Lakes Freerider is a great example of local businesses and traders working together to provide a service which both locals and visitors can enjoy.”

 

The full list of businesses who helped make the 2012 service possible included:

 

  • Café Ambio
  • Cartmel Traders
  • Ducky’s Farm Park
  • Haven Holiday Park
  • Holker Hall
  • Lakeland Motor Museum
  • Lakes Aquarium
  • Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway
  • Lakeside Hotel
  • Rusland Pool Hotel
  • Whitewater Hotel
  • Windermere Lake Cruises
  • Yew Tree Barn

 

Financial backing from Ulverston Community Partnership and the Go Lakes Travel Programme, funded by the Department of Transport, has also contributed to the group’s successful collaboration and has helped make a range of attractions more accessible to all.

 

 


01 August 2012

 

Another top ten for Windermere Lake Cruises!

 

Windermere Lake Cruises is one of only four attractions outside London to make England’s top ten most popular paid for visitor attractions, according to figures released by VisitEngland today.

 

The latest Annual Visitor Attractions Survey collated by the national tourism body shows that Windermere Lake Cruises ranks in the top ten list of paid for visitor attractions in England in company with iconic attractions such as Stonehenge and Kew Gardens.

 

The figures reveal that there were more than 1,350,000 passenger journeys on the company’s 16-strong fleet of steamers, modern launches and wooden launches during 2011.  That’s a 2.9% increase on the previous year.

 

Windermere Lake Cruises is the only Cumbrian attraction – and one of just a handful outside London - to appear on the list.

 

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, says: “These figures underline the key contribution tourism makes to our regional and national economies. For Windermere Lake Cruises to be up there amongst some of the world’s most iconic visitor attractions underlines the enduring appeal of Windermere and the unique perspective our boats and steamers offer to visitors.”

 

Windermere Lake Cruises has already been in the national spotlight this summer. Its oldest and most iconic vessel, MV Tern (first launched in 1891), recently hosted the Olympic Torch as part of its nationwide relay, while the Queen of the Lake participated in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant in one of the largest flotillas ever assembled on the River Thames.

 

 

 


16 July 2012

 

Businesses join forces to secure 30 days of free summer travel

 

The region’s popular FreeRider programme is back this summer and this time it’s bigger and better than ever, thanks to the continued support of local businesses.

This years South Lakes FreeRider service will run for 30 days, from next Monday 23rd July 2012 until Friday 31st August, Monday to Friday and will provide a completely free bus service around the South Lakes region for both locals and visitors to enjoy.

 

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director for Windermere Lake Cruises said: “Last year’s scheme proved very successful and the fact it can continue this year is testament to the commitment of all the local businesses involved who have worked together to achieve this fantastic offer.”

This year the FreeRider route also includes the market town of Ulverston,  home to many independent retailers and fantastic eateries, along with fun attractions such as the Laurel and Hardy Museum (Stan Laurel was born in the town), Ulverston Brewery, Swarthmoor Hall, The Hoad Monument and Conishead Priory and Buddhist Temple.

 

The new addition to the schedule has been secured by Ulverston Community Partnership along with traders from the town who have contributed significant funds to take part in the scheme.

Gavin Knott (Ulverston trader and resident) said: “The FreeRider scheme is a great idea – it eliminates the stresses of driving, parking and directions, not to mention saving on fuel costs, so we were all keen to be part of it. We value the opportunity to encourage people to visit Ulverston and hope it will help promote all the town has to offer on a longer term basis.”

 

David Unsworth of Unsworth’s Yard Brewery in Cartmel has also been involved in the route’s development and has worked with local traders in Cartmel to secure the route which also covers High Newton.

 

David said: “This is an important scheme and one that local businesses need to support to help develop and sustain visitor numbers to the region. In these economic times anything we can do to make travel around the region more accessible should be welcomed whole heartedly and I am confident the scheme will be as successful as last year.”

 

The 2012 service is the result of collaboration between the following local businesses:

  • Windermere Lake Cruises
  • Lakeland Motor Museum
  • Holker Hall
  • Ducky’s Farm Park
  • Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway
  • Haven Holiday Park
  • Black Beck Caravan Park
  • Rusland Pool Hotel
  • Café Ambio
  • Whitewater Hotel
  • Lakes Aquarium
  • Lakeside Hotel
  • Yew Tree Barn
  •  Cartmel Traders

 

Financial backing from Ulverston Community Partnership and the Go Lakes Travel Programme, funded by the Department of Transport, has also contributed to the group’s successful collaboration and has helped fund the implementation of this great new way to get around.

 

The South Lakes FreeRider will run from 8:00 to approximately 18:00 on weekdays, transporting passengers between all participating businesses.

www.freerider.org.uk

 


 

7 June 2012

 

Queen of the Lake returns home after Diamond Jubilee Pageant

 

Windermere Lake Cruises’ historic ‘Queen of the Lake’ vessel has been safely returned home to Windermere after taking her place in history and representing Cumbria in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

 

The vessel travelled a 600 mile round trip to take part in the event which was watched by millions around the world over the Jubilee weekend and saw a thousand boats gather on the river Thames, stretching for an estimated twelve and a half miles, in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

 

By sheer coincidence the journey also took her back to East Molsey where she was constructed in 1949 by local boatbuilding company ‘Watercraft’.

 

Working with the Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Royal Windermere Yacht Club and Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club, Windermere Lake Cruises was immensely proud to provide the vessel and enable Cumbria to be represented at the international event.

 

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director, Windermere Lake Cruises said: “It took such a tremendous amount of organisation and support from the local community to enable Queen of the Lake to represent Cumbria in such a large scale event so to be part of that and experience the day itself was very humbling and a proud moment that I am sure everyone involved will remember for a very long time.”

 

Queen of the Lake was decorated in handmade yellow daffodils which were designed and created by local schoolchildren. A Peter Rabbit mascot was also on board.

 

Built in 1949, measuring 15.2 metres and able to accommodate up to 84 passengers, Queen of the Lake is one of Windermere Lake Cruises’ four traditional wooden launches and was one of only 15 vessels taking park in the entire 1000-strong pageant that is listed on the National Historic Fleet.

 

Queen of the Lake is based at Ambleside and is in daily service from April to October, carrying passengers on Windermere, England’s longest lake.

 


 

29 May 2012

 

Summer sunset jazz cruises launched

 

Windermere Lake Cruises is launching a special programme of Evening Buffet Cruises this summer, providing visitors with a unique way to soak up the scenery of England’s largest lake.

 

Guests can enjoy a two and a half hour cruise on a charming vintage ‘steamer’, taking in the region’s spectacular scenery whilst enjoying a refreshing drink or two and a mouth-watering two-course summer buffet.

 

The acclaimed Trickle Charge will be providing on-board entertainment with music and witty repertoire to suit all ages. There’s even a dance floor on the top deck for those who’d really like to let their hair down!

 

The Evening Buffet Cruises run every Saturday in June and every Wednesday and Saturday throughout July and August, departing from the bustling town of Bowness at 7pm.

 

Tickets must be pre-booked and cost £29.75 per adult and £17.00 per child including the two and a half hour trip, band and buffet.  Great value family tickets are available for two adults and up to three children at the price of £85.00. There is a discount of £1.00 per person for groups of 12 adults or more and the organiser can sail completely free of charge! 

 


 

24 May 2012

 

“We’re taking the Queen to London”

 

On Monday 28th May 2012 Windermere Lake Cruises will be waving goodbye to its historic vessel ‘Queen of the Lake’ as she departs on her 300 mile journey to London to represent Cumbria in the prestigious Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.

 

The iconic boat will be craned out of Windermere’s Bowness Bay in the early evening (approximately 6pm-8pm) on 28th May and will then be transported by Cockermouth based Lawsons Haulage in the early hours of the following day.

 

Built in 1949, measuring 15.2 metres and able to accommodate up to 84 passengers, Queen of the Lake is no stranger to royalty, having carried HRH the Prince of Wales in March 2010 when he visited Cumbria and the Lake District. Her latest adventure will take her back to East Molsey on the Thames where she was constructed in 1949 by local boatbuilding company ‘Watercraft’.

 

Working with the Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Royal Windermere Yacht Club and Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club, Windermere Lake Cruises is proud to have been able to provide a vessel to represent Cumbria at the national and international event which has received huge support from the local community.

 

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director, Windermere Lake Cruises said: “Windermere Lake Cruises is immensely proud to be part of the team preparing for such a patriotic event which will give young Cumbrians a memory of a lifetime. A tremendous amount of organisation has gone in to this event from the local community and it will excellent to see everyone’s efforts culminate in the coming week and to see Queen of the Lake representing Cumbria in such a large scale event.”

 

After being craned in to the Thames Queen of the Lake will be decorated in handmade yellow daffodils which have been designed and created by local schoolchildren. A Peter Rabbit mascot will also be on board.

 

The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant takes place on 3rd June and will see Queen of the Lake proudly take her place alongside Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family in what will be the largest flotilla of modern times. The Pageant will see a thousand boats gather on the river Thames, stretching for an estimated twelve and a half miles, in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

 

Windermere Lake Cruises carries around 1.35 million passengers each year. Queen of the Lake is one of the company’s four traditional wooden launches. Registered on the National Register of Historic Vessels, she is one of only 15 vessels taking part in the entire 1000-strong pageant that is listed on the National Historic Fleet.

 


 

31 March 2012

 

Preview of official Olympic torch route with MV Tern

 

Visitors to Windermere will soon be able to cruise on the same boat - and along the same route - as the official Olympic torch will follow in this summer’s Olympic Torch Relay event from today.

 

As Windermere Lake Cruises launches its iconic MV Tern vessel into public service after its winter rest, the company hopes the local community will share in the excitement leading up to what promises to be one of the region’s most prolific events of the year.

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director at Windermere Lake Cruises, said: “It’s obviously a great privilege to be involved in this kind of national event and we’re hoping people will take the opportunity to enjoy a cruise on Tern and experience the same route that the Olympic torch will follow in June.”

MV Tern was built in 1891 and has operated on Windermere for over 120 years. She was originally steam powered but was converted to diesel in 1957 and is included on the National Historic Ships Register.

The Olympic Torch Relay celebrations will take place in Bowness on the evening of 21st June. Coordinated by LOCOG, South Lakeland District Council, Cumbria Tourism, Windermere Lake Cruises, local police, highways and emergency services and many other organisations, the event will give the local community and visitors to the area a chance to welcome the Olympic Flame and share in the excitement and celebrations that the Relay will bring. 

Lakes Alive, in conjunction with Les Commandos Percu, will finish off the evening’s proceedings in style with the world premiere of ‘On the Night Shift’, a newly commissioned spectacular show to mark the start of the London 2012 Festival. This incredible open-air production combines music, pyrotechnics and drama to dazzling effect, sending streams of colour and light soaring through the skies above Windermere.

For more information on MV Tern, visit YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/WindermereCruises.

 


21 March 2012

 

‘Pawfect’ pooch pass for dog owners

 

With National Pet Month kicking off in April, Cumbria’s most popular attraction, Windermere Lake Cruises is offering its furry passengers a very special treat.

 

In honour of dogs everywhere the cruise specialists are now operating an all-year-round dog friendly policy, giving all well behaved dogs free travel when accompanied by their obedient owners - so even canine companions can appreciate the region’s stunning scenery. There are even onboard doggy bowls!

 

Home to England’s largest lake and a multitude of attractions and events, Cumbria really is a dog’s paradise and the perfect place for a dog friendly family holiday.

 

After a day spent cruising on board one Windermere Lake Cruises’ vintage steamers and enjoying beautiful long walks around the surrounding landscape, families can treat their pooch to a spot of retail therapy with Paws by the Lake in Ambleside; a boutique one stop shop for all things pet related.

 

Once an edible, playable or even wearable souvenir of his adventure has been chosen, families can refuel over a delicious meal at the nearby Queens Head Hotel which is genuinely dog friendly and boasts delicious food in the picturesque valley of Troutbeck.

 

 

 

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